Friday, January 04, 2008
Patrons and Beards
Some follow ups while I catch up:
I thought St Clare was the patron saint of needle workers?
Yes, she is one of several patron saints for needle workers. St. Claire and her order made altar cloths and very fancy embroidery that has come to be called "Assisi Embroidery". Since the person was asking about quilting, I thought seamstresses was a little more appropriate. I would also recommend St. Rose of Lima, who sold her crafts to ease the financial burden on her family when she, their ticket to a rich husband in the family, chose not to marry.
St. Clare is also the patron saint of television. St. Rose of Lima is also the patron saint against vanity. Busy multi-tasking saints.
And while we're on the subject:
What about a patron saint for female blacksmiths (not farriers), or even for artist blacksmiths in general?
I have a hunch you're looking for St. Hubert, inventor of the Bloodhound and patron saint for people who work with metals. St. Hubert had a knack for talking people into letting him melt down their metal idols. He was out hunting for deer one day when a deer told him to stop hunting and follow Jesus. St. Hubert, like any sane person, took the deer seriously. I certainly would pay attention to anything a deer had to say, once it started talking.
A reader who just got back from Mexico saw a manger scene with a bearded hooded saint statue and chickens and turkeys and wants to know what that's all about.
I think they weren't chickens, for starters, or if they were it was only because no one could find a rooster. Legend has it that the only time a rooster crowed at midnight was to announce the birth of Jesus. In Spanish and Latin American countries "Misa del Gallo" the Mass of the Rooster, is celebrated at midnight on Christmas Eve. The crowing of the rooster at the dawn of each morning symbolizes the daily triumph of light over darkness and the victory of good over evil and is a real annoyance if you are not a "morning person".
Maybe you just didn't see the rooster, up on the roof of the manger, but because if he was there, you can bet all the chickens followed. I don't know what's going on with the turkeys. Probably came to see what all the fuss was about.
As for the hooded bearded saint, good luck with that one. Just about any saint before the 18th century is hooded and bearded. Even some of the girls. He could have been a saint that is locally revered. He could have been St. Francis of Assisi, the inventor of the manger scene. He could have been the parish priest standing really still. There is just no way to know.